It’s impressive that we were able to not only find seven, but actually choose the top seven most controversial and divisive aspects of Infinity Ward’s landmark shooter. They managed to bait everyone, from Fox News to PC gamers to the entire country of Russia, with both justified and balls-out moronic decisions.
Story-wise, Modern Warfare 2’s themes are a bit schizophrenic. The game sometimes takes a neutral stance on war and corrupt politics, sometimes implies criticism, and occasionally forgets about everything except the fact that explosions are neat and OMG headshot! It’s always been tough for games to make poignant, topical observations and remain fun, but the effect can be a soupy mess of entertainment, relevance, irrelevance, and pretention. Drop in multiple technical and PR failures, and the concoction is a shoo-in for gaming’s “most controversial” list (though still well under GTA and Carmageddon).